I attended Joe Matz’ 80-min mastermind on this topic of subscription models and how to grow your next small business revenue stream. Here’s a short intro to it; links to his site included below.
Is there a hidden revenue stream flowing underneath your small business, just waiting to be tapped? After attending Joe Matz’ talk on 9 Subscription Models, I’d say there’s a very good chance the answer is ‘yes’!
If you’d like to grow a simpler, more hands-off source of revenue—one that also serves your clients’ best interests—I urge you to read on, and then take action!
Subscriptions are ways you can package and price your services and products so that clients receive them (and their benefits) automatically. This can be a game changer for your business.
I thought I knew a bit about subscription models, but Joe introduced a number of new ideas that are really intriguing and will be giving me plenty to chew on for my own business and for my clients!
What follows is a 30,000-foot view of his teachings on the subject along with what I took away from them. For more on this subject get Joe’s e-book, The 9 Subscription Models. I also encourage you to visit his website.
Ways to expand your Small Business Revenue Stream: 9 Subscription Models
The Convenience Model
Is convenience one of the benefits clients receive from what you sell? If you have a product or service—or offer a benefit—that naturally runs out and/or is annoying to replace, consider packaging up that convenience as a subscription. Example: $1 Shave Club, toilet paper subscriptions.
The Surprise Box Model
Are you in a niche filled with passionate fans? Can you offer something new every month? Turn surprise and delight into a literal reason to buy by allowing your clients to sign up for a fresh, new surprise at regular intervals. Examples: BarkBox, Graze and Kiwico (kids’ science activities).
The Simplifier Model
Is reducing stress and unpleasant (to clients) tasks central to the value you offer? Help your clients “set it and forget it” by automating the whole process. Examples: Lawn care, household cleaning, most software-as-service offerings.
WH note: there’s a difference, though slight, between a subscription client and a “retainer” client; it’s the automation.
Here’s an example: we have a lawn care company that comes when it’s time for treatments; some months that’s twice, other times once, some not at all. They leave a bill hanging on the doorknob with each visit—meaning that each visit we’re presented with an opportunity to decide to call it quits.
It’s a regular discussion: how was the rep today? How is the grass looking? Is it still worth it? If we had a subscription the fee would be automatically billed to our credit card, (maybe with an option to divide the payments across the treatment months, or the whole year). The bill would be steady every month and it’d be less likely that we’d waiver.
The Front of the Line (or VIP) Model
Do you have some clients who’d be willing to pay extra for VIP amenities? Could you offer priority access, weekend/overnight service, or guaranteed response time? Allow those who want or need it to commit to regular white-glove service. Examples: Salesforce Premier, ThriveWorks.com.
WH note: I could see many of you who have service businesses successfully weaving this into your offerings: are there services you could bundle to create a premium level, a “hotline” for same-day service, or events or trainings that only VIPs receive?
The Peace of Mind Model
Does what you offer help clients sleep more easily? Is safety, a back-up plan, or security involved? Then they’ll likely be happy to put that sense of ease on a regular payment plan. Examples: LoJack, Tagg pet tracking.
The Membership Model
Do you offer products and services in a tightly defined niche? Does being part of a group add value and/or panache for your audience? A membership form of subscription might be the perfect way to satisfy their ongoing needs. Examples: RestaurantOwner.com, MindTools.com, varying museums, old-style National Geographic.
WH note: This is another one that can be tailored to service businesses’ offerings, especially (but not only) if your audience might benefit from interaction with each other. Similar to a VIP model but not quite as demanding.
The Private Club Model
Can you create or offer something highly exclusive? If you can give people access to something that has value, in an all-or-nothing arrangement, the Private Club may be a good solution. Examples: BNI (Business Network International) membership, the Genius Network, any Golf Club membership
The All U Can Eat Library Model
Can you corral an enormous library of evergreen content in a category? You may be able to leverage that by engaging a large bank of followers willing to pay for access. Examples: Pandora, Netflix, the New Masters Academy online art school.
The Network Model
Is there an increasing inherent value in what you offer as the membership increases? Is sharing what you offer and its value of immediate benefit to members? That might make a successful network subscriptions model. Example: any social media platform, the telephone, What’s App.
These are the 9 variations on a wise theme.
Brainstorming around subscriptions and recurring revenue models is a smart way to come up with possibilities for adding value to your business, your audience, and your future—it adds predictability, but remember it’s not a passive income stream. You will still need to service and care for your clients, and in some cases continue to add content and/or other value.
If you’re interested in learning more about the models, reach out to Joe Matz at Eagle Business Services. For a copy of the book, click the cover!
If you’re ready to roll out a subscription program and would like to get your landing pages, email marketing and/or web pages in place, give me a holler.